The important thing to remember is that there is no single right choice here. The best laptop for your university experience depends on the work you do at the university. An English major with a long reading list and many papers to write may do better with an iPad and a beautiful accessory keyboard. Computer science students who need to compile software or run Linux need a laptop that can be patched.

In other words, the following are some basic indicators that laptops need to keep in mind:


  • Windows: If you are using a Windows machine, the main choices for the processor are Intel and AMD. Both will work, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.For a more complete guide to the differences, please see our complete guide Buy a laptop.
  • Chromebook: These browser-based machines use six different processors, most of which you may never have heard of. This is for a reason: those processors are slow. My advice when buying a Chromebook is to use a more powerful processor if you can afford it. Core m3 chip is the best choice for most students. If you want a more powerful and future-oriented machine, please buy i3 or i5 chips. There are also ARM-based Chromebooks, such as Lenovo Duet. They are not as fast as Intel Core chips, but in most cases, they are suitable for university workloads.
  • Apple system: Apple is now manufacturing its own processors, especially the M1 chip inside the MacBook Air shown above. Although Apple still sells Intel-based MacBooks, we recommend sticking to the M1 chip. Looking ahead, Apple software will be optimized for M1, while Intel-based systems may be left behind.


Regardless of which operating system you choose, the minimum amount of RAM required for your laptop is 8 GB. Even if it runs under load, this is enough to make your computer feel agile. So much RAM can also keep the machine alive for longer during its lifetime. If you can afford it—especially if you plan to edit photos or videos in the course—choose 16 GB.


The screens vary greatly, but don’t settle for anything below 1080p. For a 13-inch laptop, 1080p is clear enough. If you are going to use a larger laptop, a 2.5K or even 4K screen will really improve the viewing experience. If you want to play games too, you must get something with a higher refresh rate-144Hz will work, but 240Hz is where you really start to get those buttery smooth graphics.

Weight and battery

Don’t forget you will drag this thing on campus. It is likely to drag your back for 8 hours or more. Although 1 pound may not seem like a lot of weight, at the end of a long day of walking, you will notice the difference between a 3 pound laptop and a 4 pound laptop. Trust me.Also, maybe Pick a beautiful bag Bring your computer.

Likewise, when you are (probably) away from the wall outlet for a long time, battery life is very important. No matter what you end up with, make sure it can last at least 8 hours in actual use-browsing the web, editing documents, writing emails, and taking notes.

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